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Old 01-20-2014, 01:57 AM   #136
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Wednesday 6 November – part six: this is like an alien landscape…

When we were done with the trail, we headed back to the car and made our way down to Devastation Trail. Wow, this really is amazing and something well worth doing as it shows the contrasts in the park. When you leave the parking lot, you are in lush green vegetation….



… and then it starts to give way and you see bits of lava….



…. and suddenly the scenery changes completely and you have a total wasteland in front of you.





It’s how you might imagine Mars to look. You can’t believe the change in front of you in such a small distance.

We ventured a little further, but we felt that we had seen what we wanted to see, so we turned back.

When we got back to the car, we went a little further down, seeing where the lava flows of 1974 had come to. Again, it brings home to you the impact that nature constantly has here. I had said to Mark earlier that, in a way, it must be a nightmare with this park, as you constantly need to predict and respond to what the volcano does. That’s shown by the fact that about half of the Crater Rim Drive has been closed off for a long time now, because of dangerous level of sulphur dioxide in the area. I guess, once this road was also closed…



We then made our way to two craters. The first was a lot more impressive than the second…



With that, our time in the park was up, as we still had more to see on the Big Island, so we made our way out of the park. It had been truly stunning and I’m glad we got to see it. However, I’m also glad we took the helicopter flight earlier as we could leave here, knowing that we had seen lava and also with a much better appreciation for this place, having seen it both from the air and from the ground.



We headed down H11 and the scenery along here was just beautiful. You could see lava everywhere you looked and then you could also see rolling hills in the distance. Every so often, the landscape would change, but one thing was constant – there really were no signs of life at all out there.



We had been told earlier on our helicopter flight that Big Island is home to just 185,000 people, whereas Oahu which is much smaller is home to over 1,000,000 people. Not only that, but apparently a lot of people on the Big Island also live on government credits, as they can’t find any work. We were surprised to learn that. The tourism industry doesn’t create that much work at least certainly not on the Hilo side of the island, as most of the tourism is concentrated on the other side of the island, where the weather is much better. After all, who wants to come to a place where it rains for 300 plus days a year?!

Soon we were seeing the east shore of Big Island…



Eventually we came to an area we could stop at, so I jumped out to get some photos. The coast here really reminded both of us of home, it’s so green and lush, not that they have the same climates at all!



Look how straight this road is!



And guess what else I found? Cows! That’s right, now I can say I’ve seen Hawaiian cows!



Next: this is just like paradise…
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:20 AM   #137
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Its not the landscape I was expecting for some reason I thought you would see lots of palm trees.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:38 AM   #138
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What a gorgeous view of the coast!


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Old 01-20-2014, 09:46 AM   #139
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The lava fields are definitely strange landscape, but interesting to see. The scenery that you saw after the National Park doesn't really look like Hawaii to me.


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Old 01-20-2014, 09:48 AM   #140
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Great pictures. The lava fields are just eerie. I'm glad you got to see cows, too.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:12 AM   #141
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You're right - I'd guess that to be coastline in Britain or Ireland! Not how I imagine Hawaii, and not what I recall of Oahu.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:20 AM   #142
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Cows and Lava - quite a bit of diversity in your day's viewing.
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:02 PM   #143
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What an interesting walk from green, lush grounds to the starkness of the lava fields. on seeing the Hawaiian cows.
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:11 PM   #144
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Wow. You were walking through lava tubes. Lava tubes! That's kind of crazy if you think about it too long.

It is a shame that not too many tourists make it to the Big Island. I know some do, and there are some pretty swanky resorts there, but most of the tourist Hawaii action is in Maui and Oahu. I'm so glad you guys could make this day trip there to really get a feel for the volcanoes!

OH!!! And you found cows!!!!
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:57 PM   #145
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I walked with a neighbor this morning who just returned from Hawaii. They spent 2 days in Hilo. When I asked her about Lava Tubes, she said the main active one that had been flowing to the ocean collapsed about 2 months ago. Geologists are monitoring to try to predict where it will surface again and indications right now seem to be away from the ocean and near some residential areas. She also said the cauldrons seem to be more active since the pressure is building. I would hate to be living that close to an active volcano.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:27 PM   #146
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It really is amazing how different the landscape is because of the lava. And the last few pictures just don't look like Hawaii at all!
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:49 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by purplegal View Post
Its not the landscape I was expecting for some reason I thought you would see lots of palm trees.
There are plenty of those, just not so many on Big Island...
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:50 PM   #148
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The lava fields are definitely strange landscape, but interesting to see. The scenery that you saw after the National Park doesn't really look like Hawaii to me.
No it didn't to us either....
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:51 PM   #149
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Cows and Lava - quite a bit of diversity in your day's viewing.
Definitely!
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:52 PM   #150
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Wow. You were walking through lava tubes. Lava tubes! That's kind of crazy if you think about it too long.
I know!

Quote:
It is a shame that not too many tourists make it to the Big Island. I know some do, and there are some pretty swanky resorts there, but most of the tourist Hawaii action is in Maui and Oahu. I'm so glad you guys could make this day trip there to really get a feel for the volcanoes!
It is a shame that more people don't make it out there, as it is amazing to see.

Quote:
OH!!! And you found cows!!!!
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